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Doctor Patient Communication

DR ANOOP RASTOGI B. MED FACCS

Finding the right breast augmentation surgeon is vital in achieving that great result. The patient must have confidence in the surgeons technical and artistic abilities and also feel able to openly communicate with the surgeon.


Communication is one of the keys to a successful and safe breast augmentation because the outcome is not only the surgeon’s choice but most importantly the patient’s. To achieve the patient’s desired result the communication must be a two way street. The patients must be comfortable enough to share with the surgeon her desires and the surgeon must be receptive to listen and understand these. He must also be able to explain the procedures thoroughly to the patient, and answer her questions.

With an understanding that the aim of breast augmentation is to produce natural, beautiful breasts, there are a number of issues that the surgeon and patient need to discuss. In particular, the discussion needs to include the patient’s desired breast shape, breast size, nipple position, degree of upper pole fullness, and cleavage. Patients often have difficulty conceptualising and expressing these ideas, particularly at a consultation when they are nervous. It is therefore up to the surgeon to facilitate the communication of these ideas by taking the time, showing photographs and drawing diagrams so that the patient’s desires can be fully understood.

The surgeon must also inform the patient when, due to their existing breast characteristics, their desires are not achievable so that they can adjust their expectations to a realistic outcome.

Based on the consultation and the patient’s body type, the surgeon should then advise the implant shape and size, and plan an operation e.g. pre muscular, sub-muscular, dual pocket etc., to achieve the patients desires. The surgeon must then communicate this to the patient.

It is during the consultation that the patient gains confidence in her chosen surgeon. She should not proceed if open lines of communication and rapport have not been built, or if she does not have confidence in the technical or artistic ability of her surgeon, to achieve her desires. The choice of surgeon is, therefore, of paramount importance.

Dr Rastogi recommends the following points in helping you choose your surgeon:

  • Visit as many different surgeons as you need until you feel really confident.
  • Listen to the surgeon during the consultation and assess whether they have understood your desires and whether they discuss concepts such as individually tailored procedures, body balance and aesthetically pleasing outcomes rather than just bigger breasts.
  • Ask about the surgeons training in breast augmentation and how many breast augmentations they have performed.
  • Ask to see several before and after photographs. This is the best indication of the surgeon’s artistic ability.
  • Check the surgeon’s reputation and ask to speak to previous patients.